Wordplay

There is something about watching my students strain with the effort of counting by hand their 100-word-minimum essays at the end of their test that brings to me a flood of joy, tumult of joy.

First, their unreasonable reaction of having to count by hand 75 words the other day on a partnered assignment – now that was too much, and I merely scoffed at their shock that they had actually to Count the words…

Automatic word count on the computer has spoiled them, and they know no other way of obtaining a word count – some actually didn’t understand how they were supposed to know how many words they had, if it was hand-written… I just looked at them with doubt and distaste, and let them figure out (finally) that they have to count it themselves.

Then, the fact that they tend to annoy me just about every day with their nonsense and casual rudeness of chit-chat while I’m talking or when I ask for silence – “quieter” and “silence” are not the same thing, just FYI – plays a role.

When they sit down in class, all backpacks against the back wall, with only writing utensils and any notes they want to use – but nothing digital – and receive the article and accompanying packet that says they must complete it for a trade by the end of class, they suddenly realize that this task is important.

I take almost everything for a grade in class, but I think that most of them do not check their grades regularly, and so have no idea that I do this.

Today, wit bit written clearly at the end of the instructions on the packet, it somehow finally clicked for them: This is for a grade.

After I told them to begin, the room was silent.

And it remained silent.

This was the first time this class had ever been silent for more than about 30-45 seconds at a time…

… and I could not stop smiling.

I actually had to turn around and cover my mouth, I just couldn’t stop smiling at their lasting silence – they were also not only silent, but working, too.

We’ll see how they did… if they followed instructions throughout the quarter, they ought to have middle to high A’s on the exam… if they haven’t, well, then they won’t have so good grades…tant pis.

And so, nearing the end of this silent hour, I delighted in watching them, just for once, suffer a task, especially one that has always seemed so commonplace to and for me…

A whole new round of smiling popped out of my mouth at that point, and I loved it. ūüėõ

Post-a-day 2019

Writing

Do you ever just¬†not feel like doing something you love? ¬†Like tonight, how I just so totally don’t feel like writing anything, even though I actually love writing. ¬†Yet, I write anyway, because I want to maintain the habit of writing, even and especially when I’m not feeling it or feel as though I have nothing valuable to write. ¬†Otherwise, I could see myself going right back to how I first started writing, but then only wrote around once a month, because I didn’t feel like I had something valuable enough to write about. ¬†Virginia Woolf mentioned in her (ridiculously long) essay called “A Room of One’s Own”, how it is important for women – the whole thing was about women – to write, no matter what they have to write about, because they are able to express their genius and artistry by writing. ¬†And so, even if the writing is only valued for a day or for a year, it is still important to write it, she said.*

I have much to do over these next handful of days, and I would like to accomplish it all (and well), because I quite possibly will have more added on at the end of them, which is just a bit absurd when being added to what I already have to accomplish by a few weeks from now. ¬†P-hsh—— (That was like a sigh, but with my teeth closed.) ¬†Just like Fuji-san, it’s bothersome to do, but I know I can do this, and that’s exactly why I don’t want to do it. ¬†ūüėõ

*Fun fact: I used the word ‘said’, and it is actually correct, because the essay was published out of two speeches Virginia Would gave to Cambridge women’s colleges around 1928 and 1929. ¬†(One of those was Newnham College, which is where my best friend studied and where I visited and stayed briefly!) ¬†So, she really did say the information, even though she also wrote it.

Post-a-day 2018

Writing papers

I panicked that I wouldn’t have enough to write about for a 6-8-page paper for class. ¬†And so, I did loads of research, looking constantly for new sources to support just about everything and anything I was planning to say in the paper, and I collected it all in a Google Doc, adding the necessary commentary surrounding the citations, as I went along. ¬†Eventually, I grew tired of doing this, and so decided to take a break by deleting the headings for each section of my drafty draft and deleting any quotes I’d found that I would not be using.

…And so, somehow, I am sitting here with some sections that have yet to turn from citations to paragraphs containing the citations and the majority of the paragraphs written out already, and it is over seven pages long…. single spaced.

Guess my plan now is just to cut out anything I found to be third-rate. ¬†And, if that isn’t enough, second-rate comes next. ¬†Always easier than having to fill in with tenth-rate crap after having concisely said everything I want to support a topic in a paper, but another two pages are required by the teacher.

But I still don’t want to do it.

Anyway…, here goes.

Post-a-day 2018